Thursday, March 28, 2013

Going to church

After I wrote a magazine article about my musings over whether I should introduce my children to church, I was given the assignment to attend a church service and blog about it.

The kids and I attended a few services at the church where the kids have gone to preschool.  It is nearly April, and we are still attending though sporadically, which is kinda how I want it and like it.

That being said, when early March was busy with birthdays and Girl Scout cookie booth sales, I found myself feeling guilty for not being at church, and it rankled me to no end.  I spent years and years going to church out of obedience to my parents and guilt, and I got little to nothing out of it.  I left angry with raging headaches, and I can't for the life of me think that this is what JC would want.

So I'm am trying very hard to be of the mindset that I will go with the kids at least once per month when the urge strikes me to go.  Attending church is not like going hiking or reading a book; it is something to which I don't look forward.  For me to get anything out of it, I need to be going with an open mind and a feeling that I want to be there.  And every week I don't want to be there.

This past weekend was Palm Sunday, and while it was nice because the children of the congregation led it, I found myself wanting to attend before I got there and then feeling alienated once I sat in the pew.  It wasn't the church itself that made me feel this way.  I think it was because the focus of the service was on Jesus and what led to the crucifixion.

When I've attended in the past, the sermons have been very justice-oriented.  Very much about compassion and kindness and acting like a Christian rather than just proclaiming you are a Christian.  About Jesus as radical thinker and forgiving teacher, and these are all things I can get behind.

The rub of attending during Lent/Easter is that I don't believe in Jesus as Risen.  I think Historical Jesus died by crucifixion, perhaps his body was taken from the tomb by his followers.  But I haven't found a meaning of the resurrection that really resonates with me, and I can't force myself to believe something I just don't believe.

The Christmas story is easy.  Everyone loves a baby, and becoming a mother certainly made the story more meaningful to me.  

I am totally down with the pagan beliefs of new life, hopefulness in the end of cold and winter.  The eggs, the brightness of color, baby chicks and all that junk.

But the Jesus who dies and rises again?
That is where and why it gets complicated for me.

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